Here's the full recap of Election Day 2013 in Milford. Official results were not immediately available late Tuesday night.
A couple more election articles posted today:
Updated 10 p.m. Tuesday
Milford Mayor Ben Blake has won a second term as the city’s top municipal chief, according to unofficial results tallied at Milford Democratic Party headquarters.
The incumbent Democrat beat Republican challenger Peter Spalthoff by more than 2,500 votes, 6,814 to 4,293, according to the unofficial results, which do not include absentee, same-day or Independent Party ballots.
The tallies equate to Blake receiving about 61 percent of the vote.
With the sound of champagne bottles popping in the background, Blake thanked colleagues, family and friends.
"Another two years, I think we earned it," he said.
Blake later told Milford Patch that his focus remains on increasing government efficiency, "to do things better, faster and cheaper." He added that he looks forward to once again representing all of Milford.
In a statement emailed to Milford Patch, Spalthoff congratulated Blake on the victory and thanked his own team for the support.
"This was a long seven-month campaign and although it did not come to the conclusion I had worked for, or hoped for, it was still a wonderful experience and one I am glad I had the opportunity to experience," said the retired mortgage broker.
Dems maintain BOA majority, lose spots on school board
Though initial results indicated that Democrats maintained their 9-6 majority on the Board of Aldermen, the unofficial results also had Democrats losing two seats on the Board of Education, which would drop their 8-2 majority to a 6-4 advantage.
According to initial results, incumbent Democrats Laura Fetter and George Gensure both lost to challenging Republicans, John DeRosa and Anthony Piselli, respectively.
Additionally, the Planning and Zoning Board is expected to be split 5-5 among the parties.
And the position of city clerk went to incumbent Republican Linda Stock, who beat Democratic opponent Charles Montalbano by about 1,900 votes, unofficially.
The city's two largest polling places in terms of registered voters reported voter turnout percentages of 30 and 35 percent, respectively, at 7 p.m., an hour before polls close.
Foran High School, which serves the Fourth District, reported a turnout of 30 percent with 2,100 of 7,042 registered voters casting their ballot.
And Harborside Middle School, which serves the Fifth District, reported a turnout of 35 percent with 2,543 of 7,206 registered voters casting their ballot.
Mayor Ben Blake was at Harborside welcoming last-minute voters. The incumbent Democrat said he was able to visit every polling station and some twice.
Blake said he's also been busy with the duties of being mayor and that he's "anxious to get back to the governing of the city."
Updated 6:45 p.m.
Eric Daniells has a simple philosophy on elections.
“You can’t complain if you don’t vote,” he said upon exiting the Foran High School polling station Tuesday.
Daniells, a registered Democrat, said he voted for the incumbent Mayor Ben Blake because the Democrat has the “city on the rebound.”
He cited energy improvements and streamlined city operations, specifically in the building department, as reasons why the former alderman deserves another two-year stint as mayor.
Daniells also said he voted for Republican Linda Stock for City Clerk.
“You want to have people with different viewpoints,” he said
Updated 5:15 p.m.
Sue Brolet says she has some real concerns about the future of this country and that’s why she’s voting all Republican.
Brolet, speaking at the John F. Kennedy School polling station Tuesday, said she disagrees strongly with President Barack Obama, a Democrat, on issues like abortion, same-sex marriage and the health care law commonly referred to as ObamaCare.
Additionally, she says the president lied about the 2012 Benghazi attack in which four Americans were killed in an assault on the U.S. Consulate there.
Asked how national politics relate to government on the local level, Brolet said: “I think the Democrats follow (Obama) like puppets. That’s why I don’t vote for them.”
Asked what she likes about Republican mayoral hopeful Peter Spalthoff, she said: “Only that he’s a Republican.”
At about 4 p.m., voter turnout at the school, which serves parts of the First and Second districts, was about 22 percent.
At about 3:30 p.m., the moderator at Harborside Middle School, which serves the Fifth District, said voter turnout was about 23 percent and that 40 percent would probably be tops.
Updated 2 p.m.
Pat Eisenman is a registered Republican who voted for Democrat Ben Blake in today’s municipal election.
“You have to look at the individual,” not the party, he said outside the Foran High School Fourth District polling station.
Eisenman said he commends the mayor for his efforts to renegotiate the city’s “ridiculous costs with health care.”
Back in September, Blake told us that through renegotiating, the city was able to cut nearly $2 million from annual health insurance costs.
As for his own party’s mayoral candidate, Peter Spalthoff, Eisenman said: “I don’t know that much about him.”
He added that an incumbent deserves another term if he is doing a good job and the alternative does not seem an obvious improvement.
Updated 1 p.m.
Some good weather could make for a high voter turnout today, says Foran High School polling station moderator William “Skip” Ziebell.
Although only 650 people had cast their vote in the municipal election at the Fourth District polling place as of 10:30 a.m., Ziebell, who’s moderated elections in Milford for 12 years, expects it to pick up when residents get out of work.
Foran is the only polling station for the Fourth District, which has a total of 7,042 registered voters. The city’s second largest voting district has 2,025 registered Democrats, 1,428 registered Republicans and 3,518 unaffiliated voters.
Ziebell said a presidential election is “always your heavy hitting” when it comes to voter turnout but he was still confident sunny weather and decent temperatures would bring a good amount of people to the polls Tuesday.
Updated 11:45 a.m.
This Election Day in Milford, there are more unaffiliated voters – those residents who don’t align themselves with a political party – than there are Democrats and Republicans combined.
Latest figures show Milford has 16,636 unaffiliated voters, 9,251 registered Democrats and 7,051 registered Republicans.
That means going into today’s municipal election, unaffiliated voters outnumbered registered Democrats and Republicans by just over 300 residents.
It’s been like this “for years and years,” Democratic Registrar of Voters Antoinette Crocco Carey said Tuesday.
You can usually add up the registered Democrats and registered Republicans and that’ll be the total of the unaffiliated voters, she said.
The Democratic registrar couldn’t say if the representation was unique to Milford or if it was comparable to other municipalities.
Here’s a breakdown of voters per district:
In the First, there are a total of 6,697 registered voters; 1608 Democrats, 1,647 Republicans and 3,391 unaffiliated voters.
In the Second, there are a total of 5,996 registered voters; 1,727 Democrats, 1,196 Republicans and 3,021 unaffiliated voters.
In the Third, there are a total of 6,278 registered voters: 1,867 Democrats, 1,184 Republicans and 3,186 unaffiliated voters.
In the Fourth, there are a total of 7,042 registered voters; 2,025 Democrats, 1,428 Republicans and 3,518 unaffiliated voters.
In the Fifth, there are a total of 7,206 registered voters; 2,204 Democrats, 1,596 Republicans and 3,520 unaffiliated voters.
Milford Election Day Central
Our original report
A mayoral race between incumbent Democrat Ben Blake and Republican Peter Spalthoff highlights this year’s municipal election in Milford.
But there are plenty of other seats up for grabs, including those on the city’s Board of Aldermen, Board of Education and Planning and Zoning Board.
A sample ballot is available for download here.
Election-related Patch articles
Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday.
There are eight polling places within the city’s five districts, and they are (click on district for map):
First District: John F. Kennedy School, Orange Avenue School
Second District: John F. Kennedy School, Meadowside School
Third District: West Shore Rec Center, Margaret Egan Center
Fourth District: Foran High School
Fifth District: Harborside Middle School
More election-related Patch articles
Ahead of the election, we asked the mayoral candidates how they felt their campaigns went and if they believed they got their messages across to prospective voters.
“Over the past two years, we have accomplished a great deal by focusing on common sense adjustments to City operations,” said Blake, who, prior to being elected to the city’s top municipal seat in 2011, served eight years on the Board of Aldermen.
“These include simple programs like turning down thermostats and placing lights on timers, to more sophisticated initiatives that leverage the slow economy and renegotiate the rates we pay for electricity, medical insurance, and interest on debt service,” Blake continued. “These changes have saved Milford millions of dollars without diminishing City services.”
Spalthoff, the Republican candidate, argued that the city could be managed better, a claim the retired mortgage broker has fixed on throughout his campaign.
“Raising taxes two years in a row was one thing, but to tout he kept them lower in the second year by transferring $5 million from the rainy day account is bogus,” Spalthoff said. ”He had to transfer the $5 million to balance his bloated budget, period.”